Trish, I really want an iPad for Christmas, how do I convince my parents?
Hi there, and thank you so much for the great and #relatable question. We’ve all been there – a cool new device is out, whether an iPad, a smart watch, or a fitness tracker – and now, we have to make an impassioned plea to the fam to let us have it. But how? After all, it can be tough to make a pitch to your parents or guardians for another device. In this post, I’ll offer you some ideas and tips on both 1) what to reflect on when you’re considering getting a new device (spoiler alert: while it might seem like an awesome idea, the truth is there are pros and cons, both of which you have to consider) and 2) how to make an honest pitch to your parents (and where you can compromise and potentially convince them!). With that, let’s get into it.
Before you ask your parents to start thinking about a new device, you need to think about that new device (ideally, in a way that goes beyond, “Wow! That looks so cool!”). In fact, this thinking may just change your feelings about whether or not you really want the device. Here are my suggestions on what to consider:
- Why do you really want the device? Is there something specific it’ll enable you to do, like take notes in one of your classes, or create art, or support a workout regimen? On the other hand, are you interested in it just because it seems cool? If the former, you may have more of a case to make (to your parents and to yourself!) for trying to get the device, but if the latter (and be honest with yourself!), it might mean you should think about this decision a bit more. After all, a new device comes with responsibilities; further, no matter how cool something seems at first (whether an iPad, a pair of jeans, or some jewelry), as time passes, its luster will fade.
- The price. This is a no-brainer, but when you’re awed by a shiny new device, it can be easy to forget. Lots of the coolest new gadgets don’t come cheap…so if you’re hoping to convince your parents to get you one, you want to think about whether you can contribute to the price, if so, how much you can contribute.
- What does your relationship with your current devices look like? Have you built the best habits for your device use? Do you, for instance, know how to set healthy boundaries between you and your devices? On the other hand, are you on your devices all the time (and is it possible that this new device just might make that worse)? I’ve had lots of friends that were thrilled about getting a new device later tell me it ended up being a distraction (something that they’d already struggled with) or worsened their anxiety around phones (which is a reality for many of us). Again, try to be honest with yourself as you reflect – while it might be easy to convince yourself of anything now, the reality may be quite different once you’re actually using the device.
Once you’ve done that reflection, if you 1) feel like the device will serve a specific purpose, 2) have thought through the cost, and 3) feel like your relationship with devices is in a good/healthy place, it’s time to make a pitch! Beyond your research on the device itself – from the model to the color to price – here are some of my suggestions for things to discuss with your fam, and in particular, ways you might “compromise” with your parents to get the device you want:
- Invite discussion around the device “rules” upfront, while you’re making the ask. You may even propose some rules yourself (bonus points for ones that show you’ve really thought through how you’ll use this device)! This will 1) show your parents your maturity – and thus, your readiness for a new device and 2) make them feel a little better about giving a new medium through which to do lots of stuff. Be conscious that you may not love some of the rules your parents propose…but that’s compromise. If there’s a rule that really bothers you, feel free to speak up about it, but in a way that’s respectful.
- Consider conceding that the device will be a “shared” one for the family. Particularly if you’re asking your family to shoulder the cost of the device, it can make sense to suggest that the device be one that all family members, including any siblings, can use. I know…this can be tough, especially if you want that device all to yourself. But there’s room for negotiation..it can be a “mostly for you” device that your parents and siblings can use for specific purposes, like playing games or watching movies. You can even propose that it starts out as a “shared” device until a sibling gets one of their own, at which point (assuming you’ve been on your best behavior!) you get it all to yourself. Again, remember that the word of the game is compromise.
I hope this post offered you some helpful food for thought as you contemplate a new iPad…and some tips on how to be ready for one. Remember, having yet another device in our busy lives has its pros and cons, and it’s important that you honestly reflect on why you want one and why you think you’re ready.
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See you all again next week,